This page was last edited 03/23/01
Once the RV is purchased you're definitely not ready for the road in most cases... The dealership was, and continues to be, a lot of help on the necessary accessories that the RV user needs. Their advice has been invaluable and continues to be a great source for information.
As part of the purchase I-35 RV included some of the 'basics' to get us started. This included:
50 AMP to 30 AMP electrical adapter
30 AMP to 15 AMP electrical adapter
Toilet paper for the RV system
Level for the refrigerator
10' Sewer hose w/adapter
25' Fresh water hose (Non-toxic, won't give water any odor or taste)
Water pressure regulator (keeps water pressure to safe 40-50 psi)
Once you've bought the basic unit you want the fun begins! Obviously I'll be discussing the additions that we've made to our Class A Motorhome. Similar or parallel situations exist with other types of units. The purchases that we've made fall into one of three categories: necessity, non-essential (but nice if you want to spend the money) and top line (read that expensive). I follow a simple philosophy in these matters. If you reached for it and didn't have it when you needed it... then you'll reach for it again, so get it. The RV is no more than your 'house on wheels' so it will need a lot of the essentials that you've become used to at home.
There are several different areas and I've broken them out into these...
Plumbing - Sewer hookup, water hookup and other sanitary needs.
Electrical - Getting power to the right places in the right quantities with the proper equipment.
Rig - Basic additions to the unit itself you may want or need including communications, rig safety, and physical additions.
Kitchen - When you fix something to eat it's just like at home with the same needs and you can enjoy outdoor cooking also.
Outside the RV - What you'll need to enjoy the great out of doors while RVing such as camping supplies.
Entertainment - Electronic or old fashioned...
While upgrading your RV, or repairing existing RV accessories, you can purchase from your RV dealer, various discount stores such as Wal-Mart, Sam's, Kmart, etc. or a camping supply dealer such as Camping World ( www.campingworld.com ). Your local area may have a store such as K.C. Home Trailer Co., Inc. These folks have an in-stock offering of some of the major components of an RV (refrigerator, furnace, etc.) along with other accessories you may want or need. Camping World has a President's Club you join for a regular discount on purchases. Prices vary, so shop a little for what you need. For instance a camp fork at Wal-Mart is $2.69 and at the K.C. Home Trailer is $3.79 for the same camp fork. In this case the RV supplier is more expensive. I personally prefer to shop at my RV dealer's place since he not only may well have what I need, but can also go through their extensive catalogs and find what I need, ordering it for me. My RV dealer also will give me a discount as a purchaser of a motorhome from his company. It may also be a good idea to do some shopping over the phone to save time and effort on major purchases.
Additional manufacturers/distributors are also listed for your convenience: 'Click Here'
Speaking of motorhome carrying capacities:
Don't exceed your vehicle's GVWR (GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING). This is the maximum permissible weight of the motorhome. The GVWR is equal to or greater than the sum of the Unloaded Vehicle Weight plus the Net Carrying Capacity.
The UVW (UNLOADED VEHICLE WEIGHT) is the weight of your motorhome as built at the factory with full fuel, engine oil, and coolants. The UVW does not include cargo, fresh water, LP gas, occupants, or dealer installed accessories.
The NCC (NET CARRYING CAPACITY) is the maximum weight of all occupants including the driver, personal belongings, food, fresh water, LP gas, tools, tongue weight of towed vehicle, dealer installed accessories, etc., that can be carried by this motorhome. (NCC is equal to or less than GVWR minus UVW).
The GCWR (GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING) means the value specified by the motorhome manufacturer as the maximum allowable loaded weight of this motorhome with its towed trailer or towed vehicle.
Actual GCWR may be limited by the sum of the GVWR and the installed hitch rated capacity.
Full Time RVing is a very special area and you will need to address it in detail.
With winter coming on... don't forget to winterize your gas/diesel tanks also. They, like water tanks, don't really like the winter all that much!
Water fill - Don't leave home without filling up your water, unless you are sure that when you arrive you'll have plenty of water available. Water weighs 8.33 lbs./gal and there is no need to carry around what you don't need. Consider a motorhome with 80 gallon water tank and 6 gallon hot water heater full will have some 716 pounds of water on board!
Install and use a water filter. Make sure that all water that enters your vehicle is potable!
Holding tank empty - Don't carry it home if you don't need to. Dump those holding tanks as part of your preparations to head for home.
Get and maintain an emergency road service of some kind. Good Sam's is a good starting point. Your RV manufacturer may also sponsor such a plan.
Additional costs can include such things as: Taxes, Registration, Insurance, Additional warranty (optional), water hose, sewer hose, sewer foam ring, water filter, pressure regulator, potty chemicals, stabilizing jacks. If a travel trailer you'll need hitch, brake controller, receiver, tow mirrors, and other such equipment.
Plumbing - Sewer
hookup, water hookup
Rig - Basic additions to the unit itself you may want or need
Kitchen - When you fix something to eat it's just like at home with the same needs
Outside the RV - What you'll need to enjoy the great out of doors while RVing
Entertainment - Electronic or old fashioned...
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